February 8, 2020
High-level representatives from the Governments of the United States and the Republic of Guatemala met this week in Guatemala City to discuss shared regional challenges, including migration and joint efforts to enhance economic development. The meetings were chaired by Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Ambassador Pedro Brolo Vila, and included representation by Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Valerie Boyd and Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Acting Assistant Secretary Carol O’Connell.
The meetings reflected both parties’ readiness to jointly work on key issues such as strengthening protection and migration management capacity, addressing the root causes of irregular migration, promoting safe and orderly access to temporary employment opportunities in the United States, and enhancing economic prosperity.
The United States reconfirmed its support for Guatemala’s efforts to improve its migration institutions. The United States continues to support this effort through contributions to international humanitarian organizations totaling nearly $39 million in fiscal year 2019. This funding aims to bolster Guatemala’s institutional capacity as it implements its new Migration Code, provides critical assistance to refugees, migrants, and Guatemalan host communities, and supports civil society organizations.
Guatemala noted the importance of accelerating the country’s economic and social development, through the initiative “Walls of Prosperity.” The United States reiterated its commitment to continue to collaborate with Guatemala in its efforts to benefit the Guatemalan people, noting the important bilateral and regional assistance programs addressing prosperity, governance, security, and health. The United States further noted the recently signed memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Development Finance Corporation and the Government of Guatemala, which aims to catalyze private sector investment of up to one billion dollars in support of development in Guatemala.
As required by previously signed agreements between the United States and Guatemala, both parties reviewed implementation and agreed they will expand cooperation and will examine opportunities to address both immediate and long-term challenges of managing mixed migration flows.
Delegations from both governments noted the importance of the strategic and historic partnership between Guatemala and the United States in advancing in our common interests.
For the Spanish version of this statement, please see the press release by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.